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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:02 am 
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Location: Bartlesville, OK
It feels like a double post kind of weekend. I have been wanting to get to the motor and trans mounts, but I needed to be 100 percent happy with them before doing a post on them. This is about the most basic part of any swap, but it sets up so much of what will occur in the future that you need to get it right the first time around.

Initially, I used the factory VK56 motor mounts to just set the motor on the front cross-member and a jack to hold the trans in place. I really wanted to use the factory motor mounts but just couldn't do it. They would have set the motor too high after the necessary adapter brackets were made and in place. Idea-bubble popped.

Moving ahead I decided to make some plates for the engine and front cross-member that would be bridged by 3/8" rod, or as I have been calling them "stick mounts". This was, by far, the best use of material and time. It allowed me to quickly and cheaply shift the motor right or left, up or down. Followed up by a very crappy but functional trans mount made out of 1/4"x1.5" flat bar. The motor has lived on this setup for the past 3-4 months until about 2 weeks ago. I finally got to a point where I was waiting for more material or parts to arrive. So I began thinking about how I wanted to build my mounts.

I decided solid bushings were out for me. I knew a polyurethane mount setup wouldn't allow too much movement, but would also keep vibrations down a little. I also figured by adding the poly bushing this would allow the mounts to work on Steven's S14 setup since there is a slight angle change between the S14 and S13 front cross-member "horns". I ended up using 1/4" flat bar for my bases and 1.5" round stock for the posts and bushing. Next up Jigs.

I had really been putting this step off. I really didn't want to invest the time in the jig, and then have to remake the motor mounts in some way. I knew the jigs would take some time, material and have some permanence about it. So in an effort to do it once, I procrastinated this until I couldn't any longer. The jig was fashioned out of some old metal I had laying around- c-channel, 1x2" rectangle and 1x1/4" flat bar. This was followed by a jig for the trans mount which was made from more c-channel and 1.5" square tube. The most challenging portion of this whole process was keeping things at correct angles and square. The last jig I had to make was more of a spacer. I needed a way to replace the polyurethane bushing during welding of the motor mounts. My solution came in the form of telescoping some round stock and welding a washer on either end. This solution took me far too long to come up with but in the end works amazing.

Words got me this far but picture tell the rest.

Motor and trans in - centered and level:
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Attempted to clear brake booster, but had no room for an oil pan and still wouldn't clear:
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Radiator fits. I use some sort of Nissan e-fan setup and it clears, barely:
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Driver and Passenger side stick mount v1. I wanted to use aftermarket 240sx motor and trans mounts, but they were just too large once the headers started getting built:
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V2 stick mounts just used to hold spacing:
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The v2 stick mounts helped to create the jig below:
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Next up was a template for the "U" portion of the new motor mounts:
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Which allowed this:
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Then I needed a spacing solution for the poly mount sleeves. It came in the form of this telescoping setup:
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Which got me to a couple tacked up mounts:
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Followed up with some TIG welding. It felt good to final weld something. It was a since of accomplishment and progression:
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I wanted to poly mount the transmission too. I got a pretty decent idea one day and decided to see if the GM mount they sell at every O'reilly and Advance Auto Parts would work. Picture says it all, zero modding, bolted up no issue:
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Utilitarian (read Rough) transmission mount:
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Poly mount sorted. It was time for a real transmission mount bracket. So I put together a jig with the Utilitarian Mount:
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Which allowed this prototype. I am not satisfied with this mount. It is too large and bulky but was necessary as it tested fitment and tested my jig. I will be remaking from some 1x1.5" rectangle and at the same time I will be raising the trans 3/8 of an inch:
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Sorry for the filter but it lightened this picture. Prototype mount installed:
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This is a fun picture to see where this has come from - v1, v2 with v3 on the way:
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And in all this I dropped the TIG torch and broke the cup. It halted progress until I came up with this - wrapped with cotton string and zip ties. The ties never melted until I tried to weld continuous, I was very happy to be able to continue:
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:25 pm 
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I am honestly about to run short of things until I start making more final pieces!! I best get to working more.

I am going to visit the shifter setup this time. I know most of you are probably thinking, I have seen this before, but I am promise I went another route. Basically I needed another way to move the shifter forward so the shifter hole didn't need to be altered - FD rules and what-not, plus no sheet metal to cut in cabin. It also needed to be able to allow the articulation the Z33 transmission requires.

I started on the shifter and attempted using the stock shifter, and attempted, and attempted. Basically I decided to step back and do something else after while. Then one day I was showing Steve some progress on the shifter. I started explaining my frustration with it and he had a really good suggestion: make a new shifter. I attribute myself being too close to the problem to see the simple solution in front of me. From that point forward, it has gone pretty smooth. Had to source some heims and links, which took some time, but otherwise simple.

Like always this is a prototype piece and not the final setup. The major revision will be: to ditch the square tube and go round instead; to install a reverse lockout; to solve potential loosening of components; and finally to pick a height for the shifter.

Here is what the stock linkage looks like:
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Here is what most people do with the stock linkage. I may end up using this in the S14 if it has more room for it. It allows the shifter to articulate a bit freer:
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Here is how I did my linkage. The bad part about this linkage is it doesn't allow the in/out motion to occur, but does allow the twist:
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After installing the linkage on the transmission here is where it wound up in the shifter hole. It is only off center in the pictures as I didn't have it lined up...it is nice and centered now.
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So in order to get the in/out movement and retain the twist I came up with this setup:
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Shifter in the car! Functioned awesome:
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Shift boot on, centered up good, I like the placement:
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I will have to get a video of the setup in progress.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:12 pm 
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Location: Overland Park
this is alot of work for this swap! lol

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:39 pm 
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Location: Bartlesville, OK
Hey guys,

This build continues!

I have been working to get sooooo much done prior to my second child's entry into the world. She and Mom are doing awesome!

I will have an update soon.

Thanks for following!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:13 pm 
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It has been awhile since my last post. Just been busy with the new kiddo, and now I am getting ready to move to a bigger place. The new place will offer more living and shop space. The extra space will be very helpful. I will be able to keep my mess in the shop and keep the garage cleaner and my wife should be able to park inside!! haha

During the slow down on the build, Steve and I have kept busy sourcing some of those one off parts that will make the swap possible. Our list included: flywheel, drive shaft, ecu, and wiring. We have successfully located 3 of the 4, with the flywheel on its way to production...or so we hope. The drive shaft was sourced fairly quick and fit up the first try.

The ecu and wiring is slightly more interesting not so much in story but in its history. I sent a email over to MA Motorsports with hopes of finding out their suggestion for the best bang for your buck standalone ecu for the VK56. I figured they have the experience with this motor that I don't so they should be the guys to help me figure this out. The response I got back put a ridiculous grin on my face. What I got back was offer to purchase Chris Forsberg's 2010 or 2011 competition 370z BigStuff3 ecu, wiring, and crank pick up. I mean this is the guy that started the VK swap, and has proven its venerability (albeit highly modified). So what do you say when offered this? You say: "Yes, please. And could you and the crew sign it?" So being cool dudes they did just that!

At sometime in this down time, I got bored and Steve suggested I make the valve cover fit under the brake booster. So I did that. There is plenty of room for the motor's side to side rock but to say it isn't tight would be a lie. Basically we just wanted to do this to prove it could be done aka play guinea pig.

As I sit finishing this post, I am entering my second day of my lower back either having a severe spasm or a bulging or blown disk. So I am now on lifting restriction which will make moving next week interesting. Hopefully I will get an MRI early this next week and get this taken care of.

Now on to pictures....

New driveshaft:
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Here is a stock drive shaft joint next to the new drive shaft joint. Much more beef!:
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THE BOX:
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Overall of contents:
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Crank and trigger wheel:
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Special 370Z Bigsturff3 Ecu...haha:
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Thanks Ray, Bill, and Chris:
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Here was the boredom tester valve cover. I don't know if we will ever use it but who knows.:
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As you can see clearance is tight but it does fit fine.:
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Full picture of valve cover installed and brake booster installed:
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That is it for this edition. I hope to be back at it in the next couple weeks and get more regular on the posts again.

Until next time...

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:28 pm 
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Just a small teaser. Multiple full post in the works.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:01 pm 
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Well it has been sometime since I got anything up....*muttered under breath*...4 months...*cough, cough*.

There has been a large gust of wind in the VK56 swap sails. Steven and I have set a couple dates we would like to see things done: end of July should see swap completion and ready for tune; Mid-late August should see the remaining small bits on the car. Steven is going to make a trip back for a month in July/August to see family and then work with me on getting this beast to a tunable state. That way, Steve (Iceman), can come down, celebrate birthdays, and tune this thing and get it moving under it own POWA!!!!

We picked out a body kit to run on ol' Minty. I am pretty excited about the kit. It is a JP USA or JP Vizage Type 2 180sx kit. It fits my style for sure and it was the one Steven and both agreed on. The bad part about the kit is it just added to my ever growing "to do list". hahaha...fml. The whole goal of all this show and go parts list, is to make the Offset Kings event in Fort Worth that is in conjunction with Formula D. (If this gets cancelled, someone please let me know!!)

Oh, and I redid the motor mounts for the 3-4th time. I am much happier with them now, they allow better clearance for the headers.

Did you say headers?!? Oh, and I redid those as well. I have been really stuck on these things as they weren't equal length...until now. Now that they are equal length the e-nerd in me can sleep easier at night. Sometime in the near-ish future I would like to make a set of headers as similar to stock headers as I can to see what the potential power gains are and where they lie side by side on the dyno graph.

Some of the every extending list of things to do is:

Move engine bay wiring to under dash
Prep and paint the kit after fitting it
Prep and paint the new rims - info to follow
Make a "y" pipe
Finish my 1, 2,...3rd set new and improved should be equal length headers
Extend front LCAs
Fix passenger front fender(or buy a decent one for cheap)
Fill rear windshield squirter hole that I forgot to do the first time I painted the body...fml
Add back new bling gauges - more info later
Install fresher seats - more to come on this too
Swap steering wheels - yep, later update
Clean up door card fabric
Add Dvd Deck, and sub enclosure (if time, stupid high school me wants this)
Make rear jacking point for rear bumper support
Install new GP Sports G Master coilovers
Finish welding stuff that needs it
Clean and Rebuild motor
Rebuild R200 Kaaz unit and set lash in pumpkin

I am sure there is more but that was only 10 minutes of thinking about it...hanging head...

Anyway lets do some pictures:

I finally started using the Evolution Raptor Saw, and it is badass. I have used it to cut my header piping and it makes for a very clean and true cut:
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Here is the redone motor mounts. Thankfully I made a jig. It made the remake effortless:
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Painted and installed:
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The headers are coming, the headers are coming:
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For you duct tape fans out there:
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Tacking it together, and the current state:
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Motor mounts now allow more room for headers:
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I did a quick check with the oil pan to make sure nothing had warped during welding, and thankfully it was all just fine:
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Then I got distracted!!!:
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Oh and whats that more shit to distract me further!!!!:
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For anyone needing to rebuild their KAAZ R200 here is a diagram for how to place the clutch plates for 80% and 100% engagement:
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Follow me on instagram @brickhouse_greg for in the moment postings. I will be trying to document the next couple month as best as possible.

LOTS TO COME!!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:48 am 
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Carbide metal saws are sweet. but 4x the cost of a chop saw. Just the blades cost as much as some chop saws. :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:48 pm 
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AkaZero wrote:
Carbide metal saws are sweet. but 4x the cost of a chop saw. Just the blades cost as much as some chop saws. :lol:


This is true but it became very appealing to me when I no longer had to clean up my cuts, and also I was getting so much blade deflection from abrasive chop saw blades. Then there is the obvious benefit of no longer shooting a rainbow of sparks 5-10 feet out the back of the saw.

This has proven to be a solid investment more me. If anyone ever gets the chance to mess with one do, you will see the difference instantly.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:37 am 
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Location: Okinawa, Japan / Bartlesville, OK
Normally Greg writes these posts but this time I, Steve, am at the helm because for the first time since starting this project I was able to work on it in person. My wife, Shio, and I came back to the States for four weeks starting in mid-July and, while seeing family was a big part of the trip, a secondary goal was re-working our VK56 S13 demo car (aka the Minty Smash and Minty Fresh categories on the blog).

Back in June or so, Greg and I set the deadline for the car's debut to be the Offset Kings Car Show at Formula Drift Texas September 13th weekend...and it's now nearing mid-August. We've got some work to do!

With the deadline set and the fabrication nearing completion on the swap, our discussions turned to what we wanted the car to look like. The VK56 swap was cool alone but we wanted to present it in a complete package - engine, interior, exterior, and suspension. We both agreed on "JDM-ish with a clean VK56 swap." That's somewhat vague but we both were on the same page when we started planning out each aspect. Since I live in Japan and YAJ like a madman, I had the JDM part covered. And as Shio and I neared our departure date, things really started to move into high gear and our tatami room looked like this as I packed and shipped some last minute items.

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When we finally made it to Greg's house, he and I laid out three to-do lists - engine/engine room, exterior, and interior - and started tackling each item as it made the most sense.

First up was finishing the equal length headers Greg's been working on. As I watched him adjust the runners and test fit it all in the bay, it really made me appreciate how many times he had pulled and put in the engine by himself. There's seriously a ton of man hours in these headers and every other aspect of fitting the engine in the bay. I can't give him enough credit for what it's taken to get this far.

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And with those sorted out, the engine could be disassembled. If you'll recall from one of the first posts, our engine had a bent rod so a rebuild was on the to-do list. This was also each of ours first time time rebuilding an engine. So if it runs awesome or fails on the first crank, it will have been a HUGE success in terms of learning experience.

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I spent a good deal of time sandblasting the timing covers. This is a show car after all (at least for it's debut) - gotta get that engine looking it's best! Here is the before and after:

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With the to-do lists came an equally impressive to-buy list. Funny how that works. And as the money went out, the parts, fittings, piping, and tools started rolling in.

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About that time, we signed the lease on our first shop - super excited about this! We definitely needed the space as it doubles (and then some) the current two car garage all this has been happening in prior. Space for other projects has always been an issue. So wait...let's add a shop buildout to the to-list. Haha. Either way, Brickhouse now has a home of it's own!!

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Greg got after welding up some final bits on the oil pan and other odds and ends.

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He also knocked out a mount kit for a cool dude who's been a supporter from day one and really wants a VK'd S13! These aren't production pieces - just something to allow the customer to locate his engine in the bay and figure the next aspects of his VK56 build.

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I got after getting the exterior pieces ready for paint. First up was our lovely set of 17/18 Regamasters. If you'll recall the set I sold a while back, these are the other half to that. See there is some method to my madness. Haha.

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They got sanded down. Trust me, he's a professional...for real. Greg can get a straighter surface with a DA than most dudes could hope to blocking it.

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And primered. The shop has thus far turned into a temporary paint booth which has allowed us to split up the bodywork from the engine work. That alone has been a huge help.

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We really wanted that aggressive front camber look. Like D1SL car setup - aggressive camber front and straight up and down in the rear. Greg did up some 30mm extended FLCAs. These should work great with the cut knuckles and relocated rack we did a while back.

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Mission accomplished. This kind of gives you an idea of the front camber. So awesome.

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Keeping with the exterior work, we needed to test fit the body kit.

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It was pretty darn close and just took a touch of finessing the rear bumper. I love fiberglass. Actually it's itchy and pretty terrible but I enjoy the challenge of getting it all laid up before your hands turn into a sticky ball of goober.

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With it on the ground and out of the garage, it got it's first bath in a reallllly long time.

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This gets me excited!!

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Getting back to the engine work, with the block stripped and cleaned, it was time to reassemble. But first there was even more cleaning of each piece. For every 5 minutes of work, 15 minutes was spent cleaning.

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These are all the rod and main bearings. These are a hot commodity apparently as we snatched the last Grade 5 main bearing in the country. We've ordered all the Nissan OEM stuff from Courtesy Nissan in Texas. They've been great answering questions on the phone and calling with updates. And a bonus for us, the standard shipping time to our location is one day. Over night parts without paying for it.

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No mid-assembly pictures as we were too occupied following the FSM's specs and, oh yes, cleaning. So here's the assembled bottom end.

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Late evenings were had.

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This one resulted in a pile of primed aero.

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Plenty of thinking moments along the way as we figure out what's going to work.

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We picked out a silver and spent a Sunday afternoon painting the Regas!

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Sneak peek - can't wait to get tires on these things!!!

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All the wiring and relay boxes have been removed from the bay...now we just need a VK56 in there!!!

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We got the tires mounted and wheels test fitted. We were both stoked on the new look.

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But of course we needed more low so room was made.

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...and got it sitting like this. Still need to go a bit lower.

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But that's were my time with the car ended and so I too will wrap up this post. Stoked to see this thing coming together just as awesome as we planned! Can't wait for the full aero and start up vids! Hard to believe we might hear this thing fire in less than a month!! For more up to date updates, we post a lot of it to instagram since it's quicker than a full post - @brickhouse_steve and @brickhouse_greg. And if you're at the FD Texas event, stop by and say hi!

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:24 pm 
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this build looks expensive lol

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1989 240sx hatch silver-my first love<3
1993 grand am-gone
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1988 Supra-traded
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:38 am 
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Location: Okinawa, Japan / Bartlesville, OK
Welllll, it's been a good while since we've updated so let's pick up where we left off and try and fill in the gaps a bit. There has been a TON of behind the scenes type stuff happening to push the VK56 swap kit closer to completion but not much to share pictures off. Things haven't slowed down and it feels really good to say we see the light at the end of the tunnel. So here's a rundown of what's been going in the Brickhouse shop.

When we left off, we had just gotten the keys to our much needed shop space. First order of business was to move in.
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This staircase that Greg whipped up is way more awesome than you'd think.
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As you can see above, the aero got painted and more of the exterior goodies installed. Our goal was to finish the car for the FDTX Offset Kings show, but it just wasn't in a state we were happy with to debut it.
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Leading up to Christmas Greg started another 4-wheel build - rebuilding this go kart for his son. Paint, engine rebuild, nuts and bolts, etc. Fully reworked. Can't wait to see my nephew ripping around in this thing in the spring.
Before:
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After:
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Maybe you spotted the black hatch above. We've had it for a while now and it's finally getting some love. It's going to be thrown together using our spare parts we've got lying around. Goal is for a super basic, super reliable, great for learning drift car. Basically something anyone can hop in and have fun. It'll get the built KA that was originally in my S14, but we sold off 57 trim turbo setup, 740's, and NIStune. We are going to run a T28, 550's, and a chipped ECU. Think TX Street Legal basic-ness.
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It was supposed to be a rust-free, 5-lug shell when we picked it up. Hidden beneath the front sheet metal was a history of ugly repairs.
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So naturally there was only one thing to do.
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Hack off all the bad and tube front it!
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And what fun is stock steering angle, so Greg did up another set of Brickhouse knuckles, extended lower arms, and a relocated rack will be done before the engine goes in.
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Love that color. Freshly powder coated.
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Alright, alright. Back to what this thread is really about - the VK56 S13! Greg's been practicing a lot and working on his consistency with TIG welding.
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The equal length headers were a good excuse to practice. Haha. It should be noted that these are purely for experiement's sake and the production headers will be a simpler design (similar to the Ver. 3 headers posted previously in the build). These are just to compare to the production set and see how the dyno numbers change.
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New toys showed up - FUPA cups.
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Then, and bringing us to the present, our really big "toy" showed up - a LDR Motion Systems CNC plasma table with a Hypertherm Powermax 85 plasma cutter.
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Getting it positioned and hooked up in the shop. We've always wanted to keep as much of production in house as possible and a big part of that was investing in our own CNC cutter. This will allow us to make precision pieces with the flexibility to make revisions when needed. Flanges, adapters, covers, oil pan, brackets, intake manifold, yada yada - you name it pretty much and this will let us create it in a precise reproducible manner.
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One of the test cuts which gives a good idea what it can do.
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And the rebuilt VK sitting in the bay...likely to only be removed and installed two or three more times before it's plumbed and wired. Haha. It's getting close!!
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As always throughout this build, thanks for all the support and words of encouragement!! It's been the fuel in finishing this project!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:26 am 
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I really like how low the engine sits in the car.

And that tire rack in the first pic is awesome.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:21 pm 
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I cant wait to come down there and see it myself. Will you have the black hatch running in time for me to tune that too?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:31 am 
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ICEMAN wrote:
I cant wait to come down there and see it myself. Will you have the black hatch running in time for me to tune that too?


Shaking my magic eight-ball, it's looking like not likely. The black car is kind of a back burner project. Do you have a KA-T T28 base tune that we could piece together the turbo setup around - turbo, injectors, maf? I was thinking S14 T28, 550's, and Z32 Maf. We were thinking we'd probably just do a "mail order" tuned ECU for it from you when it was time, but yeah to be able to tune it in person would be awesome.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:17 pm 
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steven wrote:

Shaking my magic eight-ball, it's looking like not likely. The black car is kind of a back burner project. Do you have a KA-T T28 base tune that we could piece together the turbo setup around - turbo, injectors, maf? I was thinking S14 T28, 550's, and Z32 Maf. We were thinking we'd probably just do a "mail order" tuned ECU for it from you when it was time, but yeah to be able to tune it in person would be awesome.


I do have a tune that is ready to go for that setup when I was still sidemount. I ran that setup for a good while before I upgraded all the breathing.. What all has to be done to the black hatch? And how much is left on minty? I am itching to see it on the road.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:50 am 
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Location: Okinawa, Japan / Bartlesville, OK
That last post is pretty much the current state with the exception of some exhaust work done to Minty. The black hatch is just sitting neglected. Haha.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:28 pm 
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More progress! With the engine in the bay and headers mounted, next on the list was the exhaust.

Greg mocked up a couple tip designs with mild steel - straight or pie cut?
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Once in agreement, the tip was made first. It was Greg's first time TIG welding stainless but it turned out awesome. Stainless makes all the colors.
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And this shows the importance of having a proper back purge setup.
No purge - crusty/gross:
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Purged - dimes on the backside:
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We both agreed straight dual tip was the way to go.
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With the tip done, he laid out the rest of the exhaust and got it tacked up. The exhaust was built as a balance of what's needed and what will work. Also budget comes into play bit. The tips are stainless for the bling factor but the rest was done in mild. All stainless is cool but expensive. Mild steel will outlast the intended life of the exhaust. Oh and again, this is just the test car. The swap kit headers and y-pipe will be built with the goal of being able to use a regular cat-back exhaust.
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G-man approves giving it his best JDM peace stamp of approval.
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After confirming fitment, it was fully welded.
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And mounted on the car - really stoked on the result!

Perfect bumper spacing:
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The tips are angled 15 degrees which gives them a really cool vertical look.
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Exhaust poke is just as important as wheel poke. Haha.
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It was the little bit of flair the rear was missing. It should have a good bark as well since it only has one 14" glas pack inline. That VK56 should make a racket!
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:52 pm 
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It's a big day around these parts! Parts are going on the engine for the last time - final assembly baby!

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This means we can finally install our prototype flywheel!! We worked with Spec for over a year to get this VK56-350Z conversion flywheel made. The setup features:
-billet aluminum with replaceable friction surface (no need to machine it!)
-additional thickness to compensate for the thickness of the transmission adapter plate (correct throw)
-hollowed out backside to reduce rotating mass
-Z33 clutch bolt pattern for use with any off the shelf 350Z clutch kit
-stock VK56 ring gear for use with stock VK56 starter (no 350Z starter conversion)
-adapter pilot bushing

Basically, it's a legit aftermarket flywheel for the VK56 as if it came from the factory as a manual transmission. The only thing this prototype doesn't have is the factory trigger wheel since we will be running a crank mounted trigger setup (as will the majority of users most likely).

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It's a real work of art and truly an impressive piece. And for the part that everyone is concerned about - the price. Pricing should be on par with other Spec aftermarket flywheels!! A ton of bang for the buck! We'll keep you posted on details after testing.

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We paired the flywheel up with a Spec Stage 3 350Z sprung 6-puck clutch setup which should hold all the jam (gobs of torque) this engine will make.

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It is a very clean install! No sandwiching the stock flex plate with an aftermarket flywheel just to keep the ring gear. We have discussed adding the stock trigger wheel so if there is interest out there let us know!

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We can't thank Spec enough for dealing with all of our requests, questions, and nagging in getting this produced. During our initial inquiry phase, we got blown off/big-timed/ignored by a number of small and BIG clutch manufacturers out there, but Spec was on board and supportive from day one. Support those who support the community!

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Next up was the time consuming process of wrapping the headers. The titanium heat wrap adds some nice contrast.

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Oh yeah, it's a V8...let's do that whole process again.

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One last part to make/mod/adjust was the shifter setup, through the course of the build, you've seen us develop a few different shifter setups. Keeping stock shifter location has always been a priority for us as there are plenty of options out there for more track oriented builds that require you to hack the trans opening and ditch the interior trim. We want the interior to look stock so here is the latest version - which has already be modified from the picture!

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As you can see, we kept the stock shifter cup but shortened the bracket a BUNCH and made a relocated shifter linkage. The biggest reason for this setup was keeping the reverse lock out function; an important safety feature for a street car. Our previous heim joint shifter setup didn't have that function but, for a track car where you'll likely be in the lower gearing, maybe that isn't as important (but we weren't really keen on it). The goal for us was to have various setups to test and figure out what is best.

A little video of it in action (not Greg's normal voice, haha).
http://vid106.photobucket.com/albums/m2 ... 936FEC.mp4

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A picture (taken with a potato) of the interior showing the shifter location. Fits like stock.

And finally a few of the engine sitting in the bay for hopefully the last time.

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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 5:40 am 
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We left off with the engine in the bay for the last time and now it's just ticking off items to get it ready for start up. These are the small jobs that suck up time but don't look that impressive in pictures. Either way, progress is progress!

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First up was the serpentine belt. We relocated the power steering pump so a different belt was needed. Here it is all together. Relocating the PS pump made it so clearancing the battery tray area isn't required, but not a required mod for the swap.

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Next was the heater core lines. Obviously there aren't any VK56 to S13 heater core hoses at the local parts store so here's the solution for now.

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And a pic of the part numbers for reference later. Those and two 5/8" to 3/4" hose splices and eight 1.24" hose clamps.

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We needed a throttle body solution as well. The stock Titan TB is DBW which does us no good so we opted for a LS2 TB. This one came from a seller on eBay freshly ported (80-90mm) and cheaper than OEM units including the sensors. There was a lot of positive feedback on them so it seemed like a win-win. The stock VK56 TB is only 70mm and a common gripe in the Titan community. We'll be developing an intake manifold down the road so this serves that purpose as well since we for sure won't be making it with a restrictive 70mm opening. It'll be cool to do back to back dyno pulls swapping only the intake manifold and see the differences.

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To make it work, Greg made up a little adapter plate.

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And bolted up it looks pretty darn good! This is an aspect of the build we haven't touched until now so it's kind of cool to see it come together.

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Intake on the car and the starter bolted on underneath, the engine is looking like an engine!

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This means we can move on to the other most fun aspect of building a car - wiring! Actually, if you'll recall, we kind of cheated here and bought Forsberg's old BigStuff3 ECU and wiring full setup from his old Z. This helped direct the TB purchase and simplified the wiring situation since it's nearly plug and play.

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Woot woot! It's coming together and looking like a complete engine package.

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This being the first of a few cars we've got planned, Greg laid out the stock VK harness to make a template. We'll be exploring different ECU options the next time around (probably AEM or MS3Pro since they're so popular and "supported") and likely making our own engine harness.

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Can we turn the key yet???

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:15 am 
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Location: Okinawa, Japan / Bartlesville, OK
Where did the last month go?!?! I was trying to stay on top of updating.

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The shop got tiddied up a bit - love that wheel poke.

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The clutch line got did...and re-did. It's now an AN hose setup with banjo fittings for the master and slave cylinder.

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The FPR found a home, albeit not a permanent one. It will get relocated when it's intake manifold time.

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And the fuel filter now resides on the firewall and completes the fuel system plumbing.

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A little bracket was whipped up...

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...which holds the power steering reservoir. This uses the stock Titan PS reservoir but a s-chassis one could be used as well.

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On to the brakes, the modified brake pedal setup got a little paint. If you'll recall, we toyed around with ways to keep the stock booster setup. It wasn't in the cards so we're going boosterless. There's now a few kits on the market to make it an easy conversion. We wanted to try something a bit different which seems fitting for the build.

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Delete/mouting plate being made.

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The grand scheme coming together.

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And the new dual master cylinder setup in and waiting to be plumbed. There is a balance bar incorporated into the modified brake pedal.

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The most recent project involved the above tools.

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Out came the intake cam - the one with the cam angle sensor marks.

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The stock VK pattern is a 1-2-3-4 notch type pattern. The BigStuff3 needs a single notch so the unnecessary ones were filled and smoothed.

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And then things put back together which more or less brings us up to date.

Greg is currently going through the checklist of connections and sensors to make sure the ECU is communicating with the engine. From there, we can maybe crank this thing???

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:54 pm 
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Location: Overland Park
good to see you are still at this!

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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 7:17 pm 
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How long it's been, how long it's been!!! Wow, certainly overdue for an update and it's finally a good one. But first you ask, why did the build take a bit of a pause? Well, like most things, life has a way of changing directions and life/family priorities come before the fun stuff. Basically around the time of the last update, Greg and family relocated from Oklahoma back to Nebraska. For our long time blog readers, you'll recall that yes we're from Nebraska so while Oklahoma was good, a good job opportunity and the chance to be near friends and family made moving back home a win-win.

The lose in the equation was Greg was stuck with apartment life while things normalized. He and I had been on the hunt for a suitable and comparable shop to our place in Oklahoma and nothing was coming available. Shop space around the Omaha area was either 20,000 square feet or 800 square feet and $1,000 or just in a not ideal location. No doubt we were spoiled by our place in Oklahoma.

Finally, the future of Brickhouse caught a break when a house came on the market that fit what Greg and family were looking for and came equipped with detached 3 car shop space.

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Square footage wise, it comes out to be the same as our Oklahoma shop just without the office hogging a corner of work space and six car parking outside instead of two. Heated, insulated, and pretty much perfect for our needs.

First up while it was bare and empty was finishing it off with some paint...just to make the walls a nice shade of one color. I've always found it puzzling how many garages end up staying unfinished.

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Greg trying his hand at graffiti before it's covered up. Greg's a talented artist believe it or not. This might not do him justice.

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So with the household goods moved and the shop's walls painted, it was time to move the shop! So off to Oklahoma!

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"Reunited and it feels so good."

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The biggest challenge no doubt was the plasma table. Greg's cleverness paid off.

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After rigging up a bit of a track system, it was all loaded up and the shop was bare.

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Good bye shop, you were good to us (sat full of our stuff for 10 months and no one messed with anything! phew!)

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That sure filled up the place...and now the least pleasant job of any move, getting things organized.

The remotely spatially aware will realize the new place doesn't have as high of ceiling as the old so Greg had to get a bit clever in hanging some items. First transferring over the wheel rack...

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And then a home for the bumpers...

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Things are starting to come together. This is the first bay and somewhat the catch all at the moment.

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Looking good!

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Here's all anyone is really interested in:

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So good to see some more pictures of this thing! And believe it or not, I've never seen it with it's front bumper on. That front red rebar is an eyesore though. Something must be done about that.

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Inspecting the wheel fitment while organizing this end of the shop. Just a touch of camber.

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A bit more situated AND THANK THE HEAVENS NO MORE RED REBAR!!!

The VK56 looks so gnarly in there.

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Manifold doesn't clear the hood? Don't care. We'll address that after it's running.

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And behind door number 2 is the Crap Hatch. Greg started the tube front many moons ago in Oklahoma and it needs buttoned up. This thing will be the home of the built KA that was originally in Steve's S14 (Hulk Smash) and then in Minty and now the engine dolly it rolls around on. This thing is going to be built for thrashing.

Speaking of my/Steve's 14, there it sits in the foreground wrapped in plastic. I'm super pumped and a bit nervous for the day this thing gets unwrapped as it's going on about 6 years now of sitting in a barn. But we'll be needing a S14 to test the VK swap kit fitment on so...

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So there we have it. Life happens sometimes and with a bit of patience and good planning you can come out on top! Super stoked Brickhouse has a new home! Can't wait to put the CNC plasma to work getting these VK swap mounts built! Thanks for everyone's patience and nudges asking for updates while things were dormant!

And a parting shot that gets me all warm and tingly inside!
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:39 am 
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Location: Okinawa, Japan / Bartlesville, OK
Progress in the shop continues...just hasn't made it here yet. Sorry! With the ease of uploading pics to Facebook, our facebook page has been getting all of the updates recently. If anyone wants to follow and give us a like, we'll love you forever! :D

[url="https://www.facebook.com/brickhouseproductsllc/"]https://www.facebook.com/brickhouseproductsllc/[/url]

And really if you have questions about anything, messaging the page is a great way to get a hold of us. Or if you're on Instagram, I'm @brickhouse_steve and Greg is @brickhouse_greg.

I'll get a proper update posted here hopefully in the next week or so, but the urge to get on the track has driven Greg to get back on what we've dubbed The History Hatch build. The black hatch shell he started tube fronting a few updates back. We literally had all of the parts to assemble it from various projects through the years just taking up space in storage so he's been putting in time getting it together to make a fun track car.

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It already and fired and runs so it's just a matter of buttoning up loose ends to try and make the next drift event Aug 13th weekend! Once it's wrapped up, it's back to the VK build!

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:17 am 
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SIck builds man, look forward to more. :D


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